Mango cultivars good for the tropical regions of Australia

Mango is an important crop of high nutritional and economic value, grown throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. The global production of mango in 2018 was 55.4 million tonnes, produced over 5.7 million hectares.

This is projected to increase to 72.8 million tonnes by 2029 according to FAO. Mango is the sixth most produced fruit crop and third most produced tropical fruit crop, in the world.

In Australia, the major production regions are in Queensland and the Northern Territory. The Australian mango industry is rapidly developing, with research programs in integrated pest management, new cultivar development, yield forecasting and nutrient management.

These are designed to improve production in existing regions, identify new production regions and safeguard the industry from climate change. Understanding mango flowering is fundamental to production management, influencing yield and harvest timing.

Scientists at the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT) of Northern Territory Government (Darwin, Australia) have found the relationship between ambient temperatures and flower initiation in six mango cultivars grown in the Northern Territory.

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Results showed that the floral response to temperature varied among cultivars, with ‘Calypso®’, ‘Kensington Pride’, and ‘NMBP 1201’ having the greatest tolerance to high temperatures, followed by ‘Honey Gold’, ‘NMBP 1243’, and ‘NMBP 4069’.

The cultivars Calypso®, Kensington Pride, and NMBP 1201 were found to be the least sensitive to high inhibitory temperatures and also had the shortest delay between vegetative and subsequent floral growth. This means that these cultivars are better able to flower under high temperature tropical or changing climate conditions.

Low minimum temperatures were required for flower initiation, but low maximum temperatures were a better descriptor of floral response.

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“This work suggests that some cultivars are better adapted to flowering during warmer conditions, which would be an advantage under projected climate change. For the first time in Australia, it has been possible matching commercial mango cultivars to specific growing regions – The scientists say – Extending our understanding of mango reproductive biology to describe the climatic limits for fruit set and crop development will provide more efficient tools for exploring the broader genetic resource and improve management strategies in order to adapt this valuable crop to future growing conditions”.

Source: Maddison Clonan, Cameron McConchie, Matthew Hall, Mark Hearnden, Trevor Olesen, Ali Sarkhosh, ‘Effects of ambient temperatures on floral initiation in Australian mango (Mangifera indica L.) selections’, Scientia Horticulturae, 2021, Volume 276.

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